Sunday, December 5, 2010

Strictly Come Dancing: Ann Widdecombe is finally voted off the show... but said she had the 'time of her life'

By Daily Mail Reporter

Farewell: Anton Du Beke lifts his partner Ann Widdecombe one last time after they are voted off Strictly Come Dancing

Ann Widdecombe has hung up her dancing shoes after being voted off Strictly Come Dancing.

The unlikely dancing queen had defied expectations to remain in the competition despite her less than graceful movements on the BBC1 show.

But the former MP was 'disappointed' to fail to reach the semi-finals after a particularly disastrous performance in last night's movie-themed show which saw her score just 14 out of a possible 40 points.

Partner Anton Du Beke managed to successfully lift 'Widdy' into the air three times, but the Hello Dolly routine wasn't enough to impress the judges or the voting public, with Alesha Dixon warning her: 'I think the honeymoon is over.'

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli went even further, telling her she looked like 'a Dalek in drag' and that the dance was 'more like Hello Trolley than Hello Dolly', with Du Beke pushing her around the stage.

Widdecombe ended up in the bottom two with EastEnders star Scott Maslen and then was chosen to be the ninth celebrity to leave the competition.

She told viewers: 'I feel like I have had a jolly good time. This day was going to come, it has come, and they are delighted (the judges). It has been tremendous. Time of my life, it's been fantastic!'

Tense: Widdecombe, Du Beke and Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe wait to hear who will be leaving the show

She will now be taking a break from dancing until the Strictly Come Dancing tour which starts next month, in which she will be partnered by Craig Revel Horwood, her fiercest critic.

Asked if she planned to carry on dancing after that, Widdecombe said: 'I think not.'

Speaking after the eviction, Widdecombe said the experience had been 'life-enhancing'. She is now looking forward to having 'her life back' - saying she planned to spend her first day free of rehearsals writing out 400 Christmas cards.

She added: 'It's a bit disappointing. We were both hoping to get into the semi-finals but the reality was, the way the cookie was crumbling, there were four very good dancers left.

Unimpressive: Widdecombe and Du Beke's American Smooth received the show's lowest ever score for that particular dance

'The chance of getting further than the semi-finals was remote. Of course I'm sad about it, but the day was going to come some time.

'It's been magnificent. It's been life-enhancing. It's been fun. I couldn't have wanted a better start to retirement.'

She admitted she may do the 'odd charity dance' with Du Beke in future, but that was as far as her dancing career would take her.

Asked if the British public had seen a different side to her during her run on Strictly, no-nonsense Widdecombe replied: 'That's down to them. I don't use it as an exercise in psychoanalysis. It was fun, I had fun, and we lasted 10 weeks, which I could never have predicted at the beginning.

'We weren't going to win. We've done extremely well to get this far.'

The name's Maslen - Scott Maslen: But despite the couple's raunchy display, they ended up in the bottom two

Widdecombe said she would have carried on in the show if the public had wanted her to, adding that she only ever intended to leave when she was voted off.

Last night's quarter-final had seen her end up bottom of the leader board, with the lowest score ever given for the American Smooth dance on the programme.

Comedian and psychologist Pamela Stephenson, who turned 61 yesterday, was at the opposite end of the spectrum with a perfect score of 40 after dancing the waltz to Unchained Melody. Her husband Billy Connolly was in the audience to hear her described as 'elegant, stylish and gorgeous' by Revel Horwood.

Maslen and Stephenson will compete in the semi-final next Saturday night alongside Kara Tointon, Gavin Henson and Matt Baker. Each will dance a ballroom and Latin dance followed by a Swing-a-thon. Two couples will be eliminated at the end of the show.

Elegant: Birthday girl Pamela Stephenson received the highest score of the night for her Viennese Waltz with partner James Jordan


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